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Second World War

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One of the armed conflict more bloody and violent in the world history is undoubtedly the World War II . The confrontation between the countries that made up the allied powers and those of the axis provoked six years of struggle that killed not thousands, but millions of people in the Soviet Union, China and Germany mainly.

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  • When was it: From 09/01/1939 to 09/02/1945
  • Where was it: On all continents

What was the Second World War?

The Second World War was a bloody armed conflict in which Nazi Germany Fascist Italy and Japan fought against the Allies, a group formed by Poland , France and Great Britain that after several years of combat managed to be won by the Allies.

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What was the Second World War

The Second World War was a fight that took place in the years 1939 and 1945 that involved a series of countries directly and indirectly, mainly the great world and economic powers , but also affected many countries that belonged to the third world.It has been the most violent and dramatic war in all of contemporary history, mainly due to the large number of people who lost their lives during the conflict.

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Historic context

This war took place mainly on the European , Asian and African continents . The historical context makes it clear that the conflict began on September 1, 1939 when Germany decided to invade Poland and with the declaration of war by France and the British Empire against the Third Reich. Already in Germany a series of campaigns had been launched in order to turn the place into an empire and had managed to subdue a large part of Western Europe . United Kingdom and the CommonwealthThey were the only ones who could fight the powers that made up the axis and in 1941, these powers began to invade the Soviet Union, starting one of the bloodiest wars in all of history.

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The Second World War began on September 1, 1939 at the time when Germany decided to invade the territory of Poland . Poland had a defensive type alliance with France and Great Britain , which is why these countries immediately went to war against Germany. In 1940, Hitler tried to occupy several territories, however, he failed in several battles, deciding then to invade the Balkan Peninsula , Yugoslavia, Albania and Greece.

In 1941 , Germany managed to invade the Soviet Union and shortly after, Japan attacked Pearl Harbor , a US military base located in Hawaii. From that moment, the United States and the Soviet Union decided to support Great Britain , who had no support from any country in the German invasion.

In 1942 , the forces led by the Axis continued to conquer territories until in 1943 they began their retreat. Mussolini managed to be removed from the government and for this reason the alliances that existed with Hitler were broken. The Soviet Union managed to win the Battle of Stalingrad and began to regain much of the lands that they had previously lost. The United States managed to defeat Japan in several armed conflicts , thus weakening its great power. This violent war managed to finish in May of the year 1945 at the time when the allied forces entered Berlinmaking Germany finally surrendered , mainly after Hitler was committing suicide . In the East, World War II ended when the United States sent atomic bombs to Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Characteristics of the Second World War

Among the most representative characteristics of the Second World War we mention the following:

  • Two sides were mainly those that participated in the conflict, however, it had worldwide implications.
  • A total of 23 different countries participated in the war involving the continents of Europe , Africa , Asia and Oceania .
  • It is considered the bloodiest war in all of history.
  • The winners of the fight in the end were the allies .
  • In this war the Holocaust occurred , a situation that caused the killing, persecution and mutilation of millions of people.

Countries that participated

The countries that participated in this war were Germany, Japan, Italy, Hungary, Austria, Thailand, Romania, France, the United Kingdom, the United States, China , Australia , the Soviet Union, New Zealand, Canada, Holland, Yugoslavia, Norway, Poland , Belgium and the Netherlands.

Sides

There were two sides in the conflict of World War II; On the one hand, there were the Allied Countries that were initially made up of Poland , France and Great Britain , later the Soviet Union, China and the United States of North America joined them. On the other hand, there was the side that belonged to the Axis , which included countries such as Germany , Italy and Japan, who were later joined by Romania, Bulgaria and Hungary.

Fronts

The fronts of World War II included the following:

  • Eastern Front : started when Hitler ordered his troops to invade the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.
  • Front of the Balkans : a fight between Germany and Yugoslavia where Germany managed to add its allies to Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria.
  • Far East Front : It was a war between Japan and China for the territories.
  • East Asian Front : there was the occupation by the Japanese in the cities of China.

Characters

Among the main characters that were part of World War II we can mention Adolf Hitler, Iósif Stalin , Winston Churchill, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Benito Mussolini, Paul Joseph Goebbels, Heinrich Himmler.

Featured Battles

Among the main battles of World War II we can mention the Invasion of Poland, the Bombardment of London and Pearl Harbor, the Battle of Stalingrad and Normandy, the Battle of the Bulge, the Liberation of Paris, the Battle of Berlin.

Causes

The main causes that originated the Second World War were:

  • After the First World War, a surrender treaty was imposed on Germany that was considered oppressive because it denied them the possibility of having an army and took control of the colonies in Africa.
  • The birth of fascism with Benito Mussolini in Italy and of Nazism with Adolf Hitler in Germany. They took advantage of popular discontent to organize extremist movements in search of recovering the nations they had lost while establishing totalitarianism.
  • Great tensions existed between China and Japan after the First Sino-Japanese War. Japan was now a great power that did not have much friendship with China or the Soviet Union.
  • Germany invaded Poland in search of land expansion. After Hitler established a supposed pact, he decided to invade and conquer Polish territory by causing the western nations to declare war on him.
  • The ambition of Hitler and the desire to Mussolini to create an Italian empire like the ancient Roman Empire.
  • Stalin’s desire to regain the territories that Russia had lost in 1918.

Consequences of World War II

The consequences of the Second World War were enormous and covered three important areas. In terms of political consequences , the totalitarian regimes that existed in Germany, Japan, and Italy ended and more democratic states were created in their place. The United States and the Soviet Union emerged as world powers thanks to their political, social and economic systems dividing the world into communist and capitalist sectors . Decolonization began, leading countries in Asia and Africa to independence. The United Nations Organization was created in 1945.

The economic consequences included aspects such as the creation of many cities, ports, roads that had been destroyed during the war, a situation that had affected the economies of the countries. The United States and the Soviet Union took the lead in the manufacture of weapons , which remains today. The Marshall Plan was implemented by the North Americans to improve the financial state of the country and important institutions such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund were created that helped to improve the financial crisis that existed in the world.

There were also a series of demographic and societal consequences . Millions of people died during the war, Jews, Gypsies, homosexuals and people with physical disabilities were cruelly murdered. The Jewish Holocaust is considered to date, as the greatest genocide in universal history. Many people also died of hunger and disease after the war and in Japan, thousands of people lost their lives after the United States attacked using atomic bombs .

The territorial consequences included the loss of a part of the German territory that was divided among other countries. Italy lost the troops it had in Africa and Japan its colonies. The Soviet Union managed to increase the territory and the United States also when they incorporated different archipelagos located in the Pacific.

Effects on the economy

The devastation after World War II was enormous. Many cities were destroyed resulting in the loss of half of the industrial capacity in the affected areas . The agricultural sector of countries like Japan was greatly affected and hunger took hold of its inhabitants. The war industry, for its part, grew notably, especially in the Soviet Union and the United States. The great powers of the time that included Germany, France and the United Kingdom lost their position and economic leadership. In some countries, mainly in the United States, the opposite occurred, as their economy grew significantly.

Technology

During the war, technology became present, and many developments were born at this time, such as the short and ultra- short wave radio that they used to broadcast over long distances. Studies were made on new types of fuels that could be used, such as liquid oxygen and hydrogen peroxide , which powered rockets and submarines . The first steps were taken for the creation of radars and used similar mechanisms to detect enemy aircraft. After the war, medical research evolved considerably and in thephysics , very important experiments were made on the disintegration of atoms.

Importance

This war, despite being bloody and having eliminated millions of people, was important to humanity. It was after her that an important change occurred worldwide, dividing Europe into two parts, starting the cold war and the decolonization process that managed to lead many nations to independence . A series of very important organizations such as the UN and the European Union were created.  It was a conflict that managed to mark the end of colonialism and that also encouraged the development of technology that the world enjoys today.

World War II in popular culture

Some important movies and books that tell the story of war in popular culture are:

  • Life is Beautiful
  • From here to eternity
  • Collapse
  • The thin red line
  • Schindler’s List

Among the books we mention:

  • Hitler’s scapegoat “The story of Herschel Grynszpan and the start of the Holocaust”
  • Nazi plunder
  • The 999 women of Auschwitz
  • The Total War. World War II exposed
  • The rise of Germany “The Second World War in the West”

Curiosities

The curiosities of World War II are spooky. More than 6 million people of Jewish nationality were murdered , there were more than 71 concentration camps where prisoners were taken and then killed. More than 100 million people are believed to have held positions of soldiers during the war and two atomic bombs were dropped.

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